MTN Nigeria, the country’s largest telecom firm launched its own mobile financial services in Nigeria. The decision is mainly targeting people who do not have a bank account. MTN will become a payment services bank after it receives approval from Nigeria’s central bank.
M-Pesa, a mobile phone based money transfer service based in Africa, has been quite successful in east Africa, which prompted investors to believe that financial services in telecom sector will be witnessing huge growth in the coming years.
The new scheme will enable cash transfers and payments through mobile connections.
The central bank of Nigeria had earlier permitted telecom companies to offer mobile financial services, as it could help millions of Nigerians who do not have bank accounts, to receive access to such services. The introduction of mobile banking services will boost financial inclusion in Nigeria.
MTN Nigeria received the licence to provide financial services from the central bank of Nigeria in July.
MTN Nigeria is the largest mobile network in Nigeria, with a customer base of 56 million people.
Nigeria has a population of 180 million people, out of which almost half do not have a bank account.
MTN Nigeria’s shares fell by 1.49 percent to 144.50 naira on Thursday. MTN is currently valued at 2.95 trillion naira or $9.64 billion.
Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market, with one third of the company’s revenue coming from there.
MTN’s current chief executive officer, Rob Shuter, was appointed by the firm in 2016 to revamp the company by bringing in new strategic growth plans and to look for new sources of revenue.